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Land of the Midnight Sun

FAIRBANKS, ALASKA– The adventure of working in the Arctic supporting scientific research has begun. After a long day of connecting flights I finally made it to Alaska, land of the midnight sun and home to animals that are as majestic as they are legendary.

A grizzly bear near the North Fork River in eastern Alaska.
Musk Ox
A small herd of musk oxen with calves near Teller, Alaska.

This place is so much different from where the journey all started for me– West Texas, with its regular scenery of cacti, sandstorms and tumbleweeds. Back in my hometown of El Paso, the temperature was reaching 90 degrees and climbing when I left. As the plane entered Alaska and I looked out the window to see all those snow-covered mountains as far as the eye could see, I was quickly reminded that I won’t have to worry about getting heat stroke anytime soon.

Considering that Alaska is bigger than twice the size of Texas, it’s hard to believe how few people live here. It is as remote as it is spectacular.

Brooks Range
A researcher carries his scientific equipment north of the Brooks Range.

The majority of the state’s residents live in the south-eastern part. As one ventures further north or west, the towns and villages become fewer and more remote.

One House
By the time you get all the way up to Barrow, buildings are sparse indeed.

Alaska is so different from the rest of the United States that first-time visitors might wonder if they are in another country. Reindeers replace cows in ranches and the moon goes on summer vacation just like a lot of people do– but it doesn’t come back until in the fall.

Reindeer Meat
Reindeer meat replaces beef at the grocery store in Barrow.

One Response »

  1. Very cool pictures, Chico. You are a great story teller. Thank you for sharing your experiences!